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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS from THE HINDU 26th September 2017 By Jatin Verma Educator Unacademy
News Articles To be Discussed. I. PM launches 'Saubhagya' plan for household electrification. 2. Mullaperiyar Row gets re-ignited. 3. Illegal sale of Oxytocin continues 4. Economic panel- PMEAC- to be revived 5. India counters Pakistani narrative. 6. Jim Mattis likely to push for Indian troops in Afghanistan 7. Putin to send special representative 8. Merkel faces tough coalition talks after election victory. 9. N. Korea,Venezuela in new travel ban. 10. Database soon of savings schemes linked with Aadhaar. I l . Intervention, rethinking needed to stir demand'.
Page-ll: Jim Mattis likely to push for Indian troops in Afghanistan U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis landed in India for his maiden three-day visit, the first by a Cabinet member of the Trump administration. In the light of U.S. President Donald Trump's renewed engagement in Afghanistan and call for greater Indian role, Mr. Mattis could be expected to push for Indian troops in Afghanistan. Probable areas of discussion: [iJThe focus was on deepening the defence partnership and expand the high technology cooperation, [ii] Theprevailing situation in Afghanistan. [ii] The two sides could also discuss the new Chinese posturing in the region and terrorism originating from Pakistan. [iv] The two sides are expected to conclude the formal agreement for holding a bilateral maritime exercise, focused on providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. [v]They are also expected to discuss significant measures under the Major Defence Partner (MDP) status [vi]They will also review high technology cooperation under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)
. However, the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) cooperation is contingent on India signing other foundational agreements especially the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) The U.S. has been pressing for early conclusion of the agreement but India has been cautions probably due to text of COMCASA The text of Comcasa Between U.S and South Korea reads thus vThat text requires Korea to provide US personnel access to maintain and inspect CISMOA controlled equipment; bans the transfer of CISMOA-controlled equipment to any third party; bans its indigenous production; and stipulates stringent safeguards for securing, storing and accounting for COMSEC (communications security) equipment obtained from the US.
Page-l1 International News: Putin to send special representative Close on the heels of U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis and the arrival of Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Russia is sending President Putin's special representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov to Delhi in October. Mr. Kabulov's visit, when he is also expected to discuss Moscow's new position on talks with Taliban, will come amid growing concerns in India over Russia's ties with Pakistan. . A senior Russian diplomat said Russia is not supplying arms to the Taliban, but we think it is necessary to talk to those in Taliban willing to give up violence, and we hope India will join in the effort adding that in their assessment the Taliban cannot be defeated militarily by the government in Kabul. More U.S. troops The tough predictions are in sharp contrast to the U.S.s new Afghanistan policy, that will see at least 3,000 more troops sent to fight in Afghanistan, and offers India an increased role in development projects while pushing Pakistan to act against terrorist"safe havens"
Moscow has already criticised the U.S. plan as a "dead-end policy", and warned against "putting pressure" on Pakistan. Another sign of the growing shift in Russian policy came on Monday, as Russian and Pakistani special forces began military exercises in the Mineralnye Vody region. The exercises will be a precursor to a visit by Pakistan's Army Chief General Bajwa to Moscow in October. 'Moscow format' During the visit to Delhi, Russian envoy would also talk about the "Moscow format" for talks on Afghanistan, which was started last year with only Russia, China and Pakistan, and then expanded to include Afghanistan, Iran and India. However, after the U.S. rejected an invitation to join, the talks have been shelved"temporarily" as the Ghani government now wants all such processes to be held in Kabul and led by the Afghan government Russian officials told that they are already in discussions with India about the possibility of security cooperation for Afghanistan. This would include facilitating an ongoing proposal to refurbish Soviet-era planes and repair Russian Mi-25 helicopters donated by India, along with talks on providing spare parts and ammunition to Afghan forces, but conceded that the talks had not yet been concluded
Page-12 International: Merkel faces tough coalition talks after election victory. Germany's Angela Merkel began the tough task of trying to build a government after securing a fourth term as Chancellor, urging the centre-left Social Democrats not the shut the door on a re- run of their grand coalition". Damaged by her decision two years ago to allow more than one million migrants into Germany, Ms. Merkel's conservative bloc secured 33% of the vote, losing 8.5 points-its lowest level since 1949. Her coalition partners, the centre-left Social Democrats, also slumped and said they would go into Opposition Voters flocked to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), the first far-right party to enter the German Parliament in more than half a century. Many Germans see the rise of the AfD as a similar rejection of the status quo as votes for Brexit and Donald Trump last year.But Germany's political centre held up better than in Britain and the United States as more voters have benefited from globalisation and most shun the countrys extremist past.
Ms. Merkel's next coalition could be her toughest yet with her only remaining potential partners, the business-friendly FDP and the pro-regulation Greens, at odds on issues from migrants to tax, the environment and Europe. FDP leader Christian Lindner set the stage for tricky talks, saying his party would not agree to a coalition with the conservatives and the Greens, dubbed Jamaica Coalition" because the parties' colours mirror the country's flag The Greens set out climate change, Europe and social justice as their priorities in any coalition talks Results add to uncertainty in Europe. The results are likely to add to uncertainty in Europe, already distracted by the tussles over Brexit and particularly because French President Emmanuel Macron has become embroiled in domestic politics. Ms. Merkel has played a leading and crucially calming role in Brexit talks
Page-l 2: N. Korea,Venezuela in new travel ban. U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new open-ended travel ban that saw North Korea,Venezuela and Chad among a list of eight countries cited for poor security and lack of cooperation with U.S authorities. Full bans were newly placed on nationals from North Korea and Chad, and extended for five countries on the original list: lran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Limited restrictions meanwhile were placed on Venezuela, for officials from government agencies including Interior and Foreign Ministries, the main police and intelligence services, and other agencies. Mr.Trump's order said Caracas was not cooperating on security issues. The new restrictions replace an expiring 90-day measure that had locked Mr. Trump in political and legal battles since he took office in January over what critics alleged was an effort to block Muslims from the country. Sudan, one of the six majority-Muslim countries on the original travel ban, was removed from the list. The U.S. has recently praised Sudan's efforts in fighting terrorism ahead of a decision expected in October on whether to lift decades-old sanctions on Khartoum.
Page-13 Business: Database soon of savings schemes linked with Aadhaar. The Cabinet Secretariat is keen on a central database of government and private sector employees who have subscribed to the general provident fund (GPF), public provident fund (PPF) and employees' provident fund (EPF) with Aadhaar as the primary identifier. . It has directed the various departments monitoring such savings schemes to ensure that 100% Aadhaar seeding of all salaried accounts takes place by December 3 1 Purpose: This database will enable Interoperability of savings schemes and linking them to Aadhaar. Employees' information: For government employees, the Ministry of Finance is developing Employees' Information System, an online salary application system, which may also be used to maintain information related to GPF While EPF is the savings scheme for private sector employees, the GPF is meant for government employees and PPF can be subscribed to by all workers.
The recent PPP option announced for low cost housing is innovative as it targets issues in risk allocation. Similar models can be offered to other infrastructure sectors where private investments can come in. clauses on renegotiation and grievance redressal need to be included in such policies as absence of these have stranded several projects in the past. In the current year, capital expenditure of not only the central government but also the state governments should be stepped up. Even if this leads to some breach in the fiscal consolidation target, this may be relaxed for a year, as suggested by the FRBM Act for exceptional circumstances Trimming bank holdings: One area of concern that needs immediate attention is to do with bank recapitalisation. This has become even more imminent given the stress caused by the NPAs. The government can look at raising this capital without putting pressure on the balance sheet by trimming its large holdings in these banks. This will enable the banks to restore their financial health and provide an opportunity to the retail capital market. nt has also been concerned about a slowdown in job creation.
The country has been fortunate to have two successive years of normal monsoon and good agricultural production . There is need to catalyse FDI in organized food retail which can create a supply chain transformation and strengthen the linkages between farmers and markets. RBI's supporting role The RBl also needs to play a role in providing support to the economy. For one, it needs to place some priority on growth while deciding on monetary policy. Having switched to an inflation-targeting regime, the monetary policy committee seems to be ignoring the weak growth trends while setting interest rates. The policy repo rate of 6% does seem excessively high for an economy that is facing recessionary pressure Phe RBl could outline a plan of cutting nterest rates over a period of time. Further, the exporters should have access to easily available credit. . This can be done by expanding interest rate subvention from the current rate to 4% and allowing commercial banks to lend more to SME exporters or tweaking working capital norms.